Walt Mossberg

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Using Google Chromecast

Q:

In your review of the Google Chromecast video-streaming device, you said it plugs into a TV’s HDMI port, but then you also said it can be powered from a USB port on the TV. How can it be inserted into both ports?

A:

It can’t. It must go into the HDMI port, but it comes with a thin cable that plugs into the rear of the Chromecast, and it’s that cable that can be inserted into a USB port to power the little device. If the TV doesn’t have a USB port, you can plug the cable into an included adapter that plugs into a standard electrical wall outlet.

Q:

How do I set up my Chromecast using my iPad? I couldn’t download a Chromecast setup app.

A:

To set up the Chromecast the first time, you download a one-time setup app on a laptop or an Android device. On an iPhone or iPad, this setup app isn’t ready yet. But you can still set up the Chromecast using a website. Setup from an iPad is explained at http://goo.gl/FJH1Lp.

Q:

Is it possible to watch live TV on my computer? I don’t mean Hulu or Netflix or the news, but live TV shows on regular and cable channels. If so, how does one accomplish it?

A:

There have been a variety of add-on gadgets that let you receive and watch TV on a PC or Mac. My favorite is a gadget called Slingbox. It connects to a cable or satellite set-top box and sends whatever programming your TV receives to your PC or Mac, iPhone, iPad or Android device, even if you’re on the road. It also allows you to control the TV remotely. The cheapest model costs about $180, with no monthly fees.

Email Walt at mossberg@wsj.com.


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